Raniere Likely to Be Assigned to Supermax and What It Will Be Like

Will the sign say "Welcome to your new home KR"? A lot of people have their fingers crossed that it may be so -- and in this way, he will be separated from the people who still follow him blindly.

Keith Alan Raniere is not playing his cards well.

First, he gets secretly recorded at MDC running his Nxivm organization and condemning the judge and prosecutors.

Then, he gives the order for his followers to dance nightly in front of the prison, twerking and doing flips and demonstrating that he has Manson-like followers.

Next, he has followers storm over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office with a video camera demanding prosecutors sign an affidavit he wrote swearing that they did not tamper with evidence, suborn perjury and, in general, cheat in his case.

All of this is likely going to earn him a life sentence with the judge and a designation as a menace to society and a dangerous criminal.

I think it highly likely, if not inevitable, that he will be assigned to the US Penitentiary Administrative Maximum, AKA ADX Florence, AKA Alcatraz of the Rockies, AKA Supermax.

Let us describe this super-maximum security federal prison where I predict Raniere will be spending perhaps the rest of his life.  It is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Florence, Colorado.

Photo by Lizzie Himmel/Sygma via Getty Images)

According to an article in Thought Co entitled Maximum Security Federal Prison: ADX Supermax from which I have liberally borrowed, the place has “Massive guard towers, security cameras, attack dogs, laser technology, remote-controlled door systems, and pressure pads exist inside a 12-foot high razor fence that surrounds the prison grounds. Outside visitors to ADX Supermax are, for the most part, unwelcome.”

“ADX Supermax strives for complete control over all prisoners at all times.”

“Modern, sophisticated security and monitoring systems are located inside and along the outside perimeter of the prison grounds.”

Prison Units

When Keith arrives at ADX, he will be placed most likely in the Control Unit, the highest security unit.

To be moved into less restrictive units, Keith must maintain good conduct for a specific time, participate in recommended programs, and demonstrate a positive institutional adjustment.

Inmate Cells

The cells measure seven by 12 feet and have solid walls that prevent prisoners from viewing the interiors of adjacent cells or having contact with prisoners in adjacent cells.

Prisoners may only be a few feet apart from each other but because of the thick walls, they cannot speak to each other. Keith may not even know who is next to him.

All ADX cells have solid steel doors with a small slot. Keith’s cell will have an interior barred wall with a sliding door, which together with the exterior door forms a sally port in each cell. Guards when they deliver food will open the exterior door and place his food inside. Then that door will close. Next, the interior door will open and Keith will have a moment to get his food before it locks again.

In this way, the guards do not have to have human contact with the prisoners each time they deliver food.

Keith’s cell will be furnished with a concrete bed, desk, and stool, and a stainless steel combination sink and toilet, and a shower with an automatic shut-off valve.

According to Thought Co: “The beds have a thin mattress and blankets over the concrete. Each cell contains a single window, approximately 42 inches tall and four inches wide, which allows in some natural light, but which is designed to ensure that prisoners cannot see anything outside of their cells other than the building and sky.”

If he is lucky and well behaved, Keith will, in time, earn access to a radio and a television that will offer religious and educational programming. If he is truly well behaved, he may be permitted to view some general interest and recreational programming.

He may also be allowed to tune in to educational programs. There are no group classes.

Meals are delivered three times a day by guards.

Here are some sample meals.


It is ironic that the man who demanded that his female followers be strictly regulated as to the amount of calories they could eat each day will now have his own food intake completely controlled.

At best, Keith will be allowed out of his cell only for limited social or legal visits, some forms of medical treatment, visits to the law library, and a few hours a week of indoor recreation.

He may be able to work his way out of the most severe restrictions. “The compliance of Control Unit prisoners with institutional rules is assessed monthly. A prisoner is given “credit” for serving a month of his Control Unit time only if he maintains clear conduct for the entire month.”

Inmate Life

For at least the first three years, Keith will remain isolated inside his cell an average of 23 hours a day, including during meals.

His cell will have remote-controlled doors that lead to walkways, called dog runs, which open into a private recreation pen. The pen referred to as the “empty swimming pool,” is a concrete area with skylights, in which he will be given one hour to walk or exercise by himself.

There Keith can take about 10 steps in either direction or walk around thirty feet in a circle. This is a far cry from his 10 mile walks in Knox Woods.

According to Thought Co: “Prison officials monitor and censor all inmate activity including all mail that is received, books, magazines and newspapers, phone calls and face-to-face visits.”

“Phone calls are limited to one monitored 15-minute phone call per month.”

No longer will Vanguard be able to control his Nxivm operation as he has at MDC – giving his followers living in Brooklyn instructions on the phone. They will not be able to visit him. And since he will not be in contact with them anymore, his hold on them may lessen. That will be very good for his followers.

I am convinced Keith will sorely miss MDC, just as he probably sorely misses his life as Nxivm’s Vanguard.

The difference between his life in Nxivm and MDC will be about as great proportionately as the difference between his life at MDC and in ADX Florence.

As he festers in solitary confinement for years, it will seem like a dream to Keith that he once had followers who were enthralled with his greatness.

If Keith adapts to the rules, he will be permitted to have more exercise time, additional phone privileges, and more television programming.  The opposite is true if he fails to adapt.

He may also go insane, as have many prisoners at ADX.

Because they are alone all the time, prisoners often engage in fits of screaming and ranting for hours on end.

Others carry on delusional conversations with voices they hear in their heads.

Some spread feces and urine throughout their cells and create health hazards.

Suicide is common.

Thanks to Keith’s defiance [he seems to have defiance issues – a big problem he so often uncovered for so many of his followers], this is likely his future. Had he kept quiet, kept his followers low key – until after he was sentenced, perhaps showed some remorse and repentance for the people he hurt, perhaps he might have been assigned to a maximum facility, where at least he could have human contact and a chance at making some friends.

He could have perhaps some meaningful work at a maximum-security prison and in time might earn privileges that might make life bearable. He could dine with other inmates and enjoy social interaction. Maybe he could have used his talents to help other prisoners.

Instead, this sick bastard will likely go to where I suppose he really must be – in isolation.

As evidenced by the Nxivm-5 and other crazed followers – he really should not be allowed to be in contact with something he really is not, a species he only appears to resemble physically – a human being.

For the rest of his life – and this has not settled into his brain yet – this is where Keith Raniere will likely spend all of his time – all by himself – without contact with human beings; no friends, no followers, no women, no admirers, no one calling him Vanguard. He will likely live like a rat in a cage for years to come – perhaps until his death.

Viva Executive Success!

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • I like the platters used for meals presentation! Colours I’ve never associated with serving dinner but they obviously do whet the appetite of all inmates. How interesting!

  • I understand your tremendous anger toward Raniere, and I agree that he has done real evil.
    Nevertheless I do not personally want anyone to suffer more than necessary, even if they are evil.
    This is just my feeling, and I respect your position that Raniere perhaps deserves to suffer.
    I may be wrong.
    I hope this makes sense. I am not sure it does.

    • I do not want to see him in a supermax, but I think that is where he is going to wind up. I personally think that the supermax is cruel torture and that there should be a better way to house dangerous prisoners without driving them insane with years of solitary.

      • Yep. He should never get out, but I agree with you, Frank. This plainly is torture. I wonder what his victims would sentence him to. You know, the ones that are objective.

  • Isn’t he safer in súper max? I think I would prefer to be isolated from humans than to be in a prison with humans who can beat me up.

    • Prisoners in the isolation section of the supermax never come into contact with other prisoners. So, if Keith ends up there, he won’t have to worry about someone from The Latin Kings or MS-13 taking him out.

  • Ah! Life in a fully furnished underground sardine can. What could go wrong?

    The cell is a model. Missing are the cockroaches, the musty blankets and stinky food remnants. Raniere hasn’t gotten busy yet, flooding his toilet and falling on top of his eyeglasses. Making it homey, homie. October 27th, eh? We shall see

    • Is this postmodern minimalism, or what do you call the style? In any case, it is a forced modesty, the restriction to the essential. But still too luxurious for a monk or hermit.

  • I don’t think one of the reasons for being “invited” to the supermax is being an a$$ clown. LOL

    Raniere’s convictions don’t come close to the criteria for being a “guest” at that facility. LOL

    • Regardless of what you might think, the reality is that not all the prisoners at the supermax facility are Unabomber types or Timothy McVeigh types.

      The two men I know who served time there were convicted of non-violent white-collar crimes. One of them had refused to cooperate with the feds who wanted him to flip on several high-level politicians (The BOP apparently thought that 60 months underground would make him more cooperative. It did.). The other was a career criminal who had caused numerous problems at all the other prisons where he had served time (The BOP apparently thought that 60 months underground would calm him down. It did.).

      In the case of Raniere, the rationale for sending him to the supermax would be to isolate him from the people who are continuing to support him – and to reduce the likelihood that they might someday try to pull-off a prison breakout. That’s why the Make Justice Blind group – and The Forgotten Ones group – may be the ones that end up sending him there.

      Besides, like I said. Once you build a place like the supermax, you want to keep the place filled because that generates the lowest possible per capita costs.

      • K.R. Claviger-

        -—The BOP apparently thought that 60 months underground would make him more cooperative. It did.

        60 months in isolation from human contact and sunlight will break anyone. Most people would not last past a month including myself. The public will never understand. No human contact. No sunlight. No sense of time. Restricted physical movement.

        How long did your acquaintance/friend last before he agreed to testify? If he made it past a month he is one tough-son-of-a-bitch. Seriously.


        ——Besides, like I said. Once you build a place like the supermax, you want to keep the place filled because that generates the lowest possible per capita costs.

        Another aspect Federal Supper Max prisons the general public will never understand is that once you have a facility, it needs to be filled to give credence to its existence and funding.

        Dark, dark stuff, but hey we (general public) have more important things to
        think about like the Kardashians and Megan Markel……..

      • Claviger,

        If you can…Please give me a “ballpark number” on how long your friend lasted before he agreed to testify.

        I honestly believe I would break at around 1-3 months, give or take a month.

  • I like it, the Ork returns to Mordor.

    His interaction with other prisoners could cause another ripple effect of misery. This is where he belongs.

  • A stern and utilitarian cell, quite well appointed. The perfect aesthetic for a renunciate guru like KR.

  • Nice mountain views, all food groups covered on that plate and a solid, very solid four walls and a roof over his head. Isn’t that what he’s always wanted to be looked after?

    The plates look like something I was served up while hiding out from hurricane Jeanne. It is lovely being cooked for.

    • If Raniere ends up going to the supermax prison – which I now think is a 50%/50% possibility – the last time he’ll see the mountains will be on the drive in from the airport. The cells there are 1-mile below ground – and prisoners do not get back to the surface unless/until they have finished serving their terms or they have finished their time on earth.

      • Ok then being cooked for still is his silver lining! Think about the vitamin D deficiency in that place.

        There’s something chilling about your statement of people not getting back to the surface unless they have served their time or dead. They are basically relying on people telling them it’s morning or nightime, which I find really unnerving. They could be messed with and woken up at any time and told it’s morning.

        • Natashka,

          I personally do not believe there is any need for an underground prison. But since the feds have one, they make sure it’s always filled.

          Many prisoners at the supermax facility do suffer mental health issues. In fact, there was a recent t settlement in a class-action lawsuit regarding that very issue. See: https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2017/aug/30/federal-court-approves-landmark-bop-adx-mental-health-settlement/

          I personally know two people who served time there – and I believe that both now suffer some significant mental health issues as a result of being there. And they were only incarcerated there for 5-years each.

          Normally, Keith would not be a candidate for such a placement. But with all the recent activities of his supporters, the BOP may send him there to ensure that there is no communication between him and them.

          • It’s terrible to read the effects on these prisoners with mental health issues or prone to them. They should be in hospitals, certainly not a prison designed for punishment. I would imagine prolonged solitary confinement in such a place could drive someone with no issues to developing then, like your acquaintances. It’s seems so counterproductive, especially with the ones that serve their time and leave because then they are let back out into society with mental and physical problems. It’s strange that this treatment exists in the western world or it did. Hopefully that lawsuit was the start of some change.

          • Claviger,

            Death is more humane than sending someone to a Federal Super Max. There is a definitive line between torture and punishment.

            The Max is torture as it exists today.

            I hate Raniere and he deserves to be in prison for the rest of his life…but even he should not be tortured.

            The death penalty is more humane. I completely agree with your perspective.

          • Have you considered the two people you personally know who stayed there were mentally ill before they went there, and that is part of the reason they behaved in a manner that resulted in them being “invited” to stay there? LOL

          • The two men I know who served time there were convicted of non-violent white-collar crimes. One of them had refused to cooperate with the feds who wanted him to flip on several high-level politicians (The BOP apparently thought that 60 months underground would make him more cooperative. It did!). The other was a career criminal who had caused numerous problems at all the other prisons where he had served time (The BOP apparently thought that 60 months underground would calm him down. It did!).

        • Isn’t an underground prison an advantage if it protects against sunburn and harmful UV radiation and prevents skin cancer?

          Time doesn’t matter to these people, they have all the time in the world. These people have no urgent business to do and are not under time pressure. So they have no stress at all.

      • Horribly inhumane. Death may be preferable to this tortuous existence. Everyone deserves and needs human interaction.

        Vanguard is fucked up and was not accountable for his crimes but I can’t think of anyone who deserves this. I will take no pleasure in seeing him or anyone sentenced to Florence.

        • To the “always anonymous” character,

          You completely disregard some fundamental facts:
          No due process was followed by the guilty party when inflicting pain on the victims.
          No thought is given to how the victims felt for every single second of a sentence served upon them WITHOUT any merit. WITHOUT ANY MERIT, [redacted]
          No regard is given to the ‘appropriateness’ of the sentence dished out to the victims.

          All you carry on about [redacted] poor Keith, poor criminals, so unjust, life is so disappointing, we don’t deserve prison. We deserve liberty to kill, destroy, maim and inflict misery upon our chosen victims.


          • I deserved prison. I committed crimes, I’m deeply sorry for hurting those I hurt and I paid my debt to society in prison. I’ve stayed clean since release and I work at that every day. I’m not angry at anyone for putting me there. I put myself there.

            I have deep empathy for those I’ve hurt. I wish I could make amends to them but the court prefers I stay away. So, I stay away.

            Many people in prison did not have the choices I had available to me. Society offered them little hope or promise than taking dangerous, criminal risks they should not have taken. Many came from poor schools in poor neighborhoods, many had no parent or teacher who cared, others were abused horribly beyond recognition, almost all became substance-addicted, some were just stupid, misguided and have never had a role model who showed them how to behave properly. Social class and wealth effects who ends up in prison. Sentencing often varies greatly according to race. Prosecutors are not concerned with justice, rather the number of convictions they accrue.

            Prisons are run not to rehabilitate rather to abuse and scorn those who are already scorned.

            I don’t expect you to listen to me. I’ve been a fuck-up in the past so I’ve lost my credibility. However, I hear your point: why have compassion for those who did not have compassion for those they hurt? Why treat prisoners correctly when they did not treat their own victims correctly?

            I have no good answer for you. However, I don’t like walking around pissed off at anyone or any group of people. Perhaps, for me to maintain my humanity, I need to respect everyone else’s humanity.

        • What about a scumbag like George Floyd, who put a loaded firearm on a pregnant woman’s stomach while robbing her in her own home?


          What is wrong with people? Why do some people feel the need to kiss scumbags’ asses? When people do wrong, they go to jail. It’s called punishment. Do you want Queef to go to a five-star hotel with an ankle tag?

          “Everyone deserves and needs human interaction”.

          Everyone who commits crimes should be punished.

          • “Everyone deserves and needs human interaction”.

            This is an unproven assertion. What about the thousands of years old tradition of hermits or monks who lived in absolute isolation or in hermitages in monasteries? Keith Alan Raniere pretended to be celibate and a renunciate, now he can finally live what he pretended to live.

        • –Horribly inhumane.

          Sure. But only the worst criminals go there, so they probably deserve it in terms of the inhumanity they displayed towards others. It’s just being cast back onto them in a different form.

          Keith had all the opportunity to stop, but he didn’t. Like the Energizer bunny, he kept going and going and going. That’s the problem with psychopaths. They just don’t know when to stop in their destructive behavior, so they become a danger to society and they usually end up in prison or dead. Keith led a pretty good materialistic life manipulating and abusing people in the name of ethics The problem was, he did it unethically and simply couldn’t have enough until someone greater in power said “enough is enough”, and this is merely his Karmaic “reward”.

      • The odds are not 50/50. It is not a random decision like the coin toss. With Keith Alan Raniere, the decision is 100 percent guaranteed and not random.

      • Claviger,
        Images of a cell at ADX show a 4in wide window, orientated skywards, allowing a view of the sky. How does this fit with the 1 mile underground position of the facility?

        • Sorry for the delay but I actually had to go back and do some research on the supermax facility – and contact someone who was incarcerated there – to answer your question. The fact is that most of the cells are above ground – not underground at all (I don’t know where I got that impression but I was wrong). Apparently, there are underground corridors that connect various sections of the prison complex – and one section of cells that is also underground (I think it may be the equivalent of the SHU in regular prison facilities but why you would need one there is beyond my comprehension).

          So, those 4′ windows that you noticed are, in fact, looking up directly into the sky. They were designed that way so that none of the prisoners would have any reference point to indicate where they are in the facility.

          An interesting note: because of the extreme social distancing that is part of day-to-day life in the supermax facility, they have not had any prisoners contract COVID-19.

    • And the food is so beautifully decorated, like from a cookbook. Most of the people who eat it can’t prepare the food as well as on the photos. So it is better than something homemade for most prisoners.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com